Is it just me?

I love quotes; motivational, thought-provoking, compassionate or funny. I am a fan of them all.

Want to know what I’m not a fan of? Over use and under action. I’m one of those people who actually take heed of the quotes and find something within them to take with me either on a day-to-day basis or when I’m in need of a little support.

However, recently the likes of Facebook, twitter and Instagram have been littered with quotes, flippantly used, put out into the world, copied and pasted and I’m not sure of the reason people post them?!

Think one of the ones that really pushed me over the edge recently and prompted this rant, appeared on the blog header of a beauty blogger.

Roosevelt Quote

I’m sure when Roosevelt was standing up for an end to racial segmentation, or pushing for the US to join the United Nations or maybe when she sat in the first seat of United Nations Commission on Human Rights she wasn’t thinking this quote would be used to promote a beauty blog! To say the blogger has entirely missed the crux of the quote is potentially the biggest understatement possible. It infuriates me, maybe it shouldn’t, but Lordy does it!

It’s not just the misuse of the quotes, but the incessant use of them, the plastering of them everywhere, and the lack of follow through. I’m not saying that every time you write something inspiring that you must run with steely determination to accomplish something on the back of the quote, but surely by putting them into the world without action you are slowly diluting their message.

I think more what infuriates me is the lack of action, if you are so inspired by the forceful thought-provoking words of the past why are you just posting them on Facebook, why aren’t you acting on them.

So I will share my favourite quote, I hold dear to me and act on, most if not all days.

“Everything will be alright in the end, if it isn’t alright, if it isn’t alright it isn’t the end”

Everything alright in the end

Yes I know it’s not the most powerful of quotes, but as I watched my mum sink further into depression and grief at the loss of the love of her life I searched for comfort for both of us. This seemed to appear out of the blue at the perfect time, on the front of a greeting card. But it helped, it helped me know that if I carried on helping, doing what I was then mum would pull through. Because when it comes down to it, the thought of reality is far more scary than the reality itself.

It’s a great few lines to carry with you in life. To remember that however awful something feels, however difficult, it will pass; things might not be the same, but they will be OK.

So do you have a favourite quote? One you hold dear?

E x

PS don’t forget about my Instantprint giveaway – open for another 5 days!

You are not alone this Christmas

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So this is a slightly different post from me, I came across it on Kellie’s blog Big Fashionista  - and decided that I would share as well.

I am lucky enough to be spending Christmas around people who I love and who love me back, I will be safe and warm and have everything I could want.

So many of us take our families for granted at Christmas. We assume that we’ll spend 3 or 4 days visiting and receiving guests, and in some cases bemoan this fact.

Please take some time this season to remember those who may not have visitors, who may be feeling low or alone. If you have neighbors who are alone this Christmas  pop your head in to say hello, take round some chocolates and spend a little time with them.

And if you are feeling alone this year, there are people ready and waiting to talk with you.

This list was compiled by the lovely Kellie at www.bigfashionista.co.uk

MIND http://www.mind.org.uk 0300 123 3393

Samaritans http://www.samaritans.org 08457 90 90 90

Alcoholics Anonymous http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org.uk/newcomers 0845 769 7555

Stonewall http://www.stonewall.org.uk Info line 08000 50 20 20

London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard 0207 837 7324

SANELine http://www.sane.org.uk 0845 767 8000

Preventing young suicide http://www.papyrus-uk.org For people in Northern Irelandhttp://www.lifeline.info 0808 808 8000

Childline http://www.childline.org.uk 0800 1111

Depression alliance http://www.depressionalliance.org

Refuge http://www.refuge.org.uk 0808 2000 247

Eating Disorders Association http://www.edauk.com 0845 634 1414

Shelter http://www.shelter.org.uk 0808 800 4444

NHS Direct http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk 0845 4647

No Panic http://www.no-panic.co.uk 0808 808 0545

Please don’t suffer alone, these people are waiting to answer your call.

Bitch, Slut, Whore….

Slut; an immoral or dissolute woman; prostitute.

Whore; a woman who engages in promiscuous sexual intercourse, usually for money

Dear Readers I need your help – could someone please tell me when it became acceptable to call other women & girls ‘SLUT’ ‘WHORE’ ‘SLAG’? Now may I just preface this by saying I know this isn’t a new occurrence in the world, and yes I have in the past passed judgement on a stranger without having any rights to. But it seems to me that all of this has now got out of hand. Worst of all it’s not coming from guys about girls, its girls about girls.

In the last 3 weeks I have seen 5 of my friends on Facebook discuss a girl we all went to school with, the said girl is dating one of the ‘mean girls’ ex boyfriends and they have all taken to bad mouthing this girl so badly on Facebook that I have noticed this morning she has deactivated her account. Now it cannot be coincidence that as the ‘mean girls’ were ripping strips of this girl, she decided to leave Facebook.

These girls; note I say girls and not women, as I can only see this behavior as that of people who aren’t grown up enough to be a touch more eloquent; I get that they feel they are protecting their recently dumped friend, but let me make something crystal clear, the aggressive attention should not be focused on the new girlfriend, but on the ex boyfriend surely. Did the new GF even know the guy when he was with his ex? We have been out of school 10 years and yet this feels a lot like it did when I was when I was 17. The difference now is that it’s not just friends on her Facebook  maybe work colleagues or family. It’s not isolated to the school common room like it was in 2002, now its out there for the whole world to see.

Even more upsetting that the 27-year-old girls behaving like school bullies is the recent increase in status’ of friends nieces and nephews and cousins of mine; suddenly it seems to be the norm to call their friends ‘Slag’. When I asked my cousin about this she said “I don’t get it really, but I don’t want to be the only one not doing it, so I do.”  This makes me so sad, I wanted to shake her and make her see the harm that she might be doing not only to herself but to her female and male friends. What chance do her female friends have of growing up and valuing themselves if their friends call them these awful names, even if only in jest. And the guys, what about them? Will they grow into the kind of guys who call the women in their life their ‘bitches’ ‘hoes’ or ‘birds’? Will they understand the way it makes those girls feel?

The reason all of this makes me so mad, is that 10 years ago I was the one being called the names, to name a few we had; slut, slag, whore, bitch, fat, ugly, gold digger, witch, tramp, hooker.  I was non of these things, yes I had boyfriends, yes I made bad decisions, but I didn’t deserve that. But I have moved on and learnt to value myself, but after leaving school I saw myself how they saw me, only good for an easy shag, because since I believed them I was ugly and fat. Fast forward 10 years and I am stood in a bar in Harrogate and bump into a guy I knew at school, who although drunk managed to introduce me to his mates, however he introduced me to these friends as “This is Emma, the easiest girl from school” WOW what an introduction. Luckily i have enough wherewithal to just walk away and not hold it against him.

When I asked on my Facebook page and twitter what women thought about the way some women speak to each other I got a range of replies;

” I’m not sure how any of those terms can be endearing, I’ve heard people using some of them in normal language with their friends…I think it’s disgusting! Wouldn’t want someone calling me any of them, in a friendly way or not!” SAH on Facebook

“When I was teaching I had to deal with this a lot (I had a horrible Yr10 form). I think a lot of it stems from America TV and film – they seem to use it there more often and not to the same effect. It’s more of a casual comment. Unfortunately it’s being used on a day-to-day basis now. Personally, I hate it!!” Sophie, Facebook

“Deeply insecure, needing affirmation that they are not like that themselves” from Laura Jane Connor 

However, there were a few who seemed to think it could be said in an endearing way, that they didn’t mean it in a cruel way but that it was almost a pet name, something that I really do not understand.

So I am planning on making sure that those words never leave my lips, whether I am discussing someone I know or not. Instead I plan on saying this to everyone I know – thank you Aibeline Clark for this.

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So seriously let me know what you think, I really want to know!

E x

 

 

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I have had a funny old weekend, starting with some really rather horrid tests to try to work out whats up with my heart – my doctor found it very amusing when I told him maybe I was the tin woman and I just did’t have one!

I’ve found whenever I am ill it makes me think back to being a child and how things seemed so much easier when I was poorly and 7 than poorly and almost 27.

Got me to thinking about the others things that change. Whilst feeling sorry for myself on Saturday I watched Eat Pray Love, a movie I have seen more times than I care to mention. Yes, yes I know its not as good as the book and there are parts that are just too outlandish to really believe, there are also parts that really resonate with me, that make me analyse the life that I live.

When Liz ( Julia Roberts) is in Italy she talks with her friends about what ‘word’ she is – if you had just one word to describe yourself what would it be? Would it be the same as the word you would have used as a child to describe what you wanted to be when you were grown? When did it change, more importantly why?

When we are little we learn all about “explaining words” ways to describe things, people, places. We are wildly imaginative as children, using words far above and beyond what we could ever have experienced. But with that lack of experience came a sense of wonder and hope that one day we would travel through space and time to a land where the clouds were made of candy floss and sand on the beaches made of sherbet. We were asked as children ” What do you want to be when you grow up” how many of you wanted to be a Fireman, a Nurse, an Astronaut…a footballer or a CEO? What are you now?

So what happens when we are grown ups, is that it? No more dreaming wildly of ‘when we grow up’ because here we are, we are grown up, are we where we wanted to be 20 years ago?

Me aged 7

I am intrigued by how many people have dreams as adults, they have aspirations to do something life changing, sadly I have found that mostly when they admit these dreams out loud people are less than supportive. Think back to when you were a kid and you told your mum that you wanted to be a Princess or the Prime Minister, how did she react, did she laugh in your face and tell you not to be so ridiculous, did she list the numerous down sides and reasons that it simply would not work out, doubtful. Instead she listened with care, consideration and support your dreams. Now if like me, you are a lucky bean and have a mum who supports you regardless of your wild grown up dreams, I am thrilled for you. However if you don’t then here I am offering my support and care for whatever you want to do.

This all came to a head for me the other week when I was chatting to one of my closest friends. She had decided to do a night climb up Ben Nevis for charity, what an awesome thing to do I thought, however her hopes were dashed when her mum told her she didn’t think it was a good idea, in turn that made my friend feel like her mum didn’t support her dream and therefore didn’t support her.

Sadly although my mum is a never ending beacon of hope and support for me, the same cannot be said of the rest of my family, when I told them I was starting my own cake company the majority of comments were along the lines of “but you have no training”, “there’s a recession you know” & “you’ve never run your own business”.

Not once did any of them say, “that’s amazing, good luck”. As a kid I have a lemonade stand with a friend when I was on holiday in San Francisco  everyone cooed about how industrious we were, fast forward 20 years and I am being irresponsible and it wont work.

I have many people in my life, from a little girl who just turned 3 to my grandmother who is 85. I plan on being as supportive of them every day of their lives as possible, no matter age, time of life, ideas or dreams. So Gracie if you want to be a Princess in 20 years then I will be there with a big ass hat sitting proudly in the Church, Amy if you want to make your books into movies then I will be more than happy to audition the leading man :-) and Gran if you want to run a marathon I will buy trainers and run with you.

If I had listened to the negative comments, I would never have owned my own cake shop, I would never have made cakes for everyone from Radio 1 to First Direct, I wouldn’t have been a part of so many amazing weddings, I would never have sold up and had the money to travel America & Canada, I would never have started writing a blog whilst travelling, I would never have had the nerve to go for my dream job and I doubt I would have got it. So if you think that I dream too big then go right on ahead but know this, I might be 20 years older and wiser than I was when I had my first dream of being a CEO but I still have the dreams, I still aspire to greatness and that wont ever change.

So today do me, and yourself a little favour and be supportive of someone, even if they are not doing things exactly how you think they should, give them praise for dreaming big, for wanting more than the mundane.

Think to yourself, how would you have described yourself 20 years ago, and how do you describe yourself now?

E x

Aw gee thanks…

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Thanks…Merci…..Danke…..Gracias

Thank You – two simple words that hold so much meaning.

Saying thank you is one of the easiest things in the world to say, most of us can say it in at least 3 other languages. We make a considered effort when travelling abroad to learn how to thank the locals. We regularly thank the person who makes our coffee, holds a door open for us or delivers our post.

But if we are all honest with ourselves, where we exceed at thanking strangers, we fail at thanking those closest to us. Usually these thank you’s are long overdue, much needed, and easily said.

So this post is all about that – me thanking people in my life, not for the obvious things but for the things that really matter to me, things that they do that improve my life.

The thought first came to me whilst watching a collection of talks on an online video site called TED it is mostly based the US but it has such fantastic videos, of people talking for around 20 minutes about everything from climate change, aids, technology and micro biology.

However the one that stuck out to me was a 3 minute one by a woman called Laura Trice – her 3 minute video is all about thank you – but not just the act of saying thank you, it urges us all to ask for the thanks we deserve. Be it a mother asking for thanks for all she does with the children, or a guy asking for thanks for the hours they work to earn for the family. We ask for so much in our lives, we ask for coffee the way we like it, we ask for things to be made to our exacting specifications, but most of us go through life wishing that those closest to us would thank us for the simple things, but we never voice it – if they don’t know we need thanks how can we scald them for not providing it?

So here are my thank you’s…….

Mum – thank you for standing resolutely by my side, for never questioning me, for being my greatest cheerleader.But mostly mum thank you for creating me, for nurturing me, I owe most of my personality to my dad, but I owe my ability to love completely to you. Thank you for doing my washing, for staying up for 30+ hours to help me finish an order, thank you for being at home whilst I was a kid, thank you for making my home and childhood one over filled with love and support. Thank you Mum

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Craig – thank you for helping my dad. thank you for talking to him about the reality of cancer, for being the most sane person in the room most of the time, for being T total and driving us around all the time, thank you for being there for my mum, thank you for loving Claire. Thank you for just being you.

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Amy – thank you for bringing Noah into my life, for letting me be a part of a small persons life as much as you do, thank you for helping me on the road to heal my broken heart. thank you for always having your front door open and rose in the fridge, thank you for marrying Kris meaning I have someone in my life who appreciates teaching a 2 year old to say boobies and boogies. But mostly thank you for making me believe in love again, to see that marriage and kids may in fact be what I want in life. Thank you for giving me hope back.

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Matt – thank you for being kind, thoughtful and always full of slightly awkward Facebook comments! Thank you for sticking around through all kinds, for always making me feel loved and valued. thank you for your tweets which make me laugh even when I am 4000 miles away and 5 hours behind.

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Claire – thank you for being there every single minute for me when my dad was dying, thank you for buying my mum Nero’s coffee cups to make her smile, thank you for being there even when I didn’t think I wanted you there. Thank you for always making an effort, always being the first to get in touch, always the one who is always thinking of others.

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So there you have it a little snippet of the “thank you’s” I am currently sending out – I don’t have enough space to put all of them in this post but I will be writing the rest in letters and sending them out to people. I will also be aware of how often I tell people thank you, and mean it.

Maybe take time to thank the people in your life who maybe you just accept for being there, and maybe don’t realise really would love to know they are appreciated and that you are thankful to have them in your life.

“Notice” the people in your life. Make sure they know you appreciate them.

Take care, and Thank You all for reading this blog and supporting me.

E x